In a recent sermon, retired preacher Barry Ebert at Mile Hi Church in Denver, Colorado presented a sermon from his perspective of having lived 70 years on this planet. Right next to him, a 19 year old University of Colorado student, Camila Self, spoke from the perspective of youth, vitality, and that fresh outlook of a neophyte mind unhardened by the exigencies of life.
The older preacher spoke from wisdom gained through the decades. The younger "preacher" spoke with the innocence of youth. Each brought a unique understanding of humanity's desire to comprehend life's purposes for every human being.
Barry Ebert spoke about being hooked on one's spiritual self, about the "Golden Thread of Truth" that meanders through all of the 4,200 religions on this planet. He spoke about always staying open at the top for new ideas. He said, "We need to continue our curiosity throughout our short journey on this planet. We need to question our existence. We need to find our own answers."
Camila Self stepped up to the podium, "Our youthful curiosity needs to push the boundaries."
She spoke about herself as being a curious child. What about this? What if? Why did the cat stick its head between the door and the door sill? Curiosity can be beneficial and detrimental. How come a cat possess nine lives? It gives the example of the "Paradox of Life", pleasure and pain. She said, "We must keep that energy to understand our world."
Camila Self said that students of life must "break with the status quo" in order to understand the changing aspects of humans on Earth. She spoke about CU's new football coach and CU's taking chances on Hall of Famer Deion Sanders at the helm. He took a chance.
"They always say that 'curiosity killed the cat'," said Self. "But I say that ignorance killed the cat; curiosity was framed."
Barry Ebert stepped back to the podium, "W.C. Fields said, 'Don't work with children or animals." Perhaps each is unpredictable, much like life.
Ebert said humans love puzzles and mysteries. For certain, the universe gives us many of each. Kids keep the mysteries. Ernest Holmes wrote a book, This Thing Called You.
In it, he said, "The original Author of all life is in you and around you, not a God who was, but a God who is. This is the great secret that you share with life. Life is whoever you are. It revolves around you even as it flows through you. Keep the doorway of your mind open. Feelings, thinking, communing with this life. Know that it fills you with light and power."
As I sat in the audience, it dawned on me as a Baby Boomer, that maintaining a fresh and open perspective might be every person's chance at nine lives, just like that cat. It's true that "doorways to the soul" open inwards. You've got to let life into you to express your creativity out of you.
Barry Ebert spoke about the word 'ineffable'. It means too great to be expressed in words or overwhelming. He said, "Baseball is ineffable." Yogi Berra said, "It ain't over until it's over." That's why each of our lives enjoys a fresh new start each day with the rising sun. We really do get to choose our lives, daily. Each day unfolds with our choices. We may not know what's going to happen, but we can choose to step into the batter's box.
Heschal said, "God is not a scientific problem. Scientific methods are not capable of solving it. The problem of God is not only related to phenomena within Nature, but to Nature itself. It is a problem that refers to what surpasses Nature, to what lies beyond all things and all concepts. The moment we mention the name of God, we leave the level of scientific thinking and enter the realm of 'ineffable'.
Barry Ebert said, "That's what curiosity is all about; the ineffable aspect of God."
Camila Self stepped back up to the podium, "We may grow with spirit. We must show love and acceptance. Hope is what we must manifest in this confusing world. Anything is possible. What we have created at Mile Hi Church is what we can go forth and create in our society. Put that energy into the world. Shed light into the darkest of places. Resist complacency. Always live life with an open heart and mind."
Barry Ebert stepped back to the podium, "Einstein said that he had no special talent except for his insatiable curiosity."
Few of us understand how E=MC squared, but we DO understand that we can "lean" into the mystery of it. Einstein said, "The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he or she contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structures of reality."
Barry Ebert said, "Yes, it's incredible just to see a sunrise. Wow, I got to see it just by being alive. Stay curious. Stay alive. Yes, there is violence, hatred, anger in the world. Yet each of us must move forward by changing our consciousness toward peace, joy, respect and relationships with our fellow human beings. We must move more toward wisdom. Stay optimistic. Let's keep faith that God is alive."
Barry Ebert finished, "Will you stay curious with me?"
Camila Self repeated, "Curiosity will keep the doorway of your mind open, loving and free."